Notes from CO

Here’s a recap of my 10 days in CO:

* NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) was incredible and inspiring and challenging and awesome.  Brain so full.  Professional to-do list SO LONG.

* Running at 5500 ft. affected my breathing in ways I didn’t expect.  I didn’t feel labored or gaspy unless I was running too fast but I did feel like I was taking very small amounts of breath twice as often.  The breaths were constant, shallow, and gentle.  Interesting.  To me.

* In the time I was there, I should have done 4 training runs of 3 miles each and one long run of 4.5 miles.  Kicked the 4.5 miler in the ass.  Felt like Wonder Woman.  Got 3 miles, 1.5 miles, and 2.81 miles and a DNS (which, yes, I did put in my calendar as such.)

* The 2.81 was both annoying (SO CLOSE?!?) and very important.  The previous night I had read this blog post in which Olivia from The Biggest Loser talked about not finishing a workout with extra energy and really pushing yourself to “empty the tank.”  I thought this was an excellent point.  I usually end my workouts feeling like I could have done much more.  Why?  What would happen if I really pushed and left it all out there?  Well, if I do it too early, I won’t finish and I will almost vomit on the train tracks outside the Ft. Collins Hilton.

Also in this run, I had to deal with pain for the first time.  Around the beginning of the last mile, I got a really intense abdominal cramp.  Determined not to walk, I slowed waaaaaaaay way down.  I was still in quite a bit of pain, to the point where I literally held my abdominal wall up as I shuffled.  It sucked but eventually the pain subsided.  I was very relieved to see that I could deal with this, in case it ever arises during a race.  It was an important step in my journey to get comfortable with discomfort.

* Due to walking 30-60 minutes a day in flip flops (yeah, yeah….), I had some foot pain after my Sunday long run.  I iced twice a day on Sunday and Monday.  When Tuesday rolled around, I had some discomfort in my running shoes.  I got as far as the Hilton parking lot before I decided there was no way I was getting stupidly injured this early in my training.  I turned back, deciding to shift my running to Wednesday, Friday, Sunday of this week.  Turns out it was totally the right call as Wednesday’s run went well (if not a bit brief, see above) and I had no foot pain whatsoever.  Brain over heart for the WIN!

* It is possible to work very hard in more than one area of my life at a time.  Historically when I get focused on one thing, like career development, another will fall by the wayside.  The program I participated in was very intense but I still looked forward to my training, read running blogs and moved forward in that area.

* Between salads, walking, an obscene amount of water, and anxiety, I lost about 8lbs.  As of this morning, I am 128lbs.  I have never seen a number in the 120’s on a scale because I was too young to care about weighing myself.  I’m looking a bit skeletal so we’ll see how I feel once I’m back in my Dailey Method routine.  This may be a bit too thin for my frame.  Who knew I would ever type those words?

* There’s no place like home.

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5 thoughts on “Notes from CO

  1. Kristin says:

    Shauna, I love reading your posts. You inspire me. 🙂

    Has your weight loss affected your singing? Just curious. I’m currently doing a 30 day Hot Yoga challenge… I love it and, 5 days in, have already noticed a significant change in my body/energy/flexibility. I also walk/run on days when I don’t have a class. I’m nervous that if I DO lose some weight that my singing will be negatively affected. I am, of course, practicing regularly and find that the Pilates/Yoga combo has been GREAT for singing. Let me know your pedagogical thoughts, if you don’t mind. 🙂 (I’ll also FB msg this.)
    xoxoxo
    Kristin

  2. Shauna says:

    My weight loss, strength training (Dailey Method), increased flexibility (yoga and Dailey Method) and running have ALL positively impacted my singing. From a pedagogical perspective, any body work that strengthens the abdominal muscles will increase their responsiveness during both inhalation and exhalation/phonation. Flexibility work will ensure that your abdominal muscles don’t get habitually rigid which is the key. Remember that your abdominal muscles, diaphragm and larynx are inextricably linked (fight or flight biological imperative) and if one is rigid, the others will be too. As you strengthen your abdominal muscles, I would recommend incorporating slides and lip trills into your practicing as a way to check that your support is flexible and that you’re not overworking, since it will feel so easy.

    I’m at my lowest weight since puberty and am singing better than ever. I haven’t observed any change in color. Now, I have lost weight in the past and it has negatively affected my voice. At that time, though, I knew a LOT LESS about the way the voice functions. Knowledge is power.

  3. Shauna says:

    Also, I love you and I’m so honored that you’re reading the blog and asking questions! ❤ ❤ ❤

  4. Julie Kalish says:

    Hey woman! Love your blog. You are a great example of what a strong,talented,intelligent woman can accomplish all on her own. Sounds a like a hallmark card but it’s true.Thanks to you I now run, something I always THOUGHT I could not do.

  5. Wow, congratulations on taking charge. Seriously, it’s so nice to feel like you know what you’re doing when it comes to your own health and body. I’ve found regular exercise has been very empowering, which who knew? Right? And put some meat on your bones, girl! ;p

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